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When we start from within: our own demons

In Marketing 101, the first rule drilled into students’ heads is that for any communication, for any advertisement, don’t base it on how you would react to the message, whether you would be sympathetic to it, don’t even bother with whatever you feel about marketing, because you can mislead yourself about the final solution. Because if there is a significant difference in the decision-making mechanisms between you and the target group of the product, you may like the advertisement but not buy the product. And, of course, the opposite is also true. The fact that you do not like a particular marketing work may make it all the more appealing to the product’s customers.

The forgotten basics

If you see the introductory idea written down or brought up in conversation, almost everyone will react positively to it. Why is that? Not everyone thinks the way we do, and there is no point in sugar-coating it. But it is interesting that when we find ourselves in a situation where we really have to give an opinion on marketing, on marketing our own companies, we can no longer be unbiased about the work. If we produce the marketing or if the success of our company depends on it, then this basic rule becomes obscure in most cases, and we start to stick to what we think is good and effective. Unfortunately, in most cases, we go with what we feel and not what we think. We translate these feelings into thoughts, and then, out of character, we turn them into facts. This process is also very dangerous in our private lives, because if we assume that everyone reacts the way we do, we can be seriously disappointed and hurt. In most contexts, these thoughts/facts are transformed into glib sayings, such as “luck wasn’t on our side” and “life isn’t fair”, so that people do not have to face the fact that they have brought the failure on themselves. Of course, there are always external factors that clearly influence the course of our lives. Unfortunately, every month there is a local, regional, or even global event that determines how we manage. However, it is not this that we need to focus on now, but the decisions that we ourselves make about our own lives. Who we make friends with, who we choose to be our partners, and how we form opinions about people: these are the choices that can be misguided if we start from within ourselves.

We start with ourselves

We know well that there is a basic law of psychology that we assume qualities about another person because we ourselves possess those qualities. We project our own demons onto others. In fact, the more negative we think our own trait is, the more we assume others have it. Unfortunately, in business development, there are many variations of this rule. In multinational companies, for example, “only caring about your own career” is a typical phrase that you hear most often from those who actually do. At the company owner level, “I don’t trust the employee” also mostly stems from the fact that the owner themself would abuse the situation if they were in the employee’s place. Of course, this is not always true, because sometimes we are right in our judgement of the people around us, but it certainly requires a strong sense of self-awareness, otherwise, we get lost in the world of belief. If this line of thought is transposed to the world of work, the mistakes can be even more serious. For one thing, we do not feel the same stakes at work as in our private lives, and the “slaps” we receive do not leave the same mark on us, making it easier to take the wrong course. Although not many people are aware of it, this is the main problem of most companies that close down or even stall completely at a certain point in their development. In fact, when a new business is started, in a very small percentage of cases, it is still the case that the product is not the brainchild of the person or people who started the company, but that the target group is identified after very serious market research and that the target group is followed even if it is in stark contrast to their own character. This is why companies that have made significant progress owe their progress to the fact that the mindset of the original idea’s inventor was sympathetic to many people, so that the product found its target group. And that’s fine, that’s credible, but you don’t have to communicate or imagine very conscious market analysis behind it if it didn’t actually happen, or happened, but we didn’t listen.